What Are Interactive Apps and Widgets?

We live in a world today in which internet has exploded tons of information which can be accessed with the help of certain man made application programs by the names of interactive apps and widgets.

Interactive apps essentially speed up business processes to a great extent. These are development tools with which a developer creates internet applications. Some examples for interactive apps are Flash, Adobe etc. which help to increase web traffic to specific sites portraying state of the art technology.

In addition there are interactive apps that can be customized according to the needs of the user to share business intelligence. These multipurpose apps are called Dashboard applications. These contain tabs that help to share reports on any network.

Interactive apps and widgets have in fact brought the world closer through the World Wide Web. With the help of these online applications, it is now possible to see and learn the contents of any extensive course from any institution or university of your choice located in any part of the world.

Widgets are applications into which chunks of codes have been embedded into. They can be placed in any third party site which allows the user authorship rights. You can locate plenty of them on social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut etc. Suppose you want stock updates on your homepage in your website, a stock update widget may be placed on a web page and clicking on it will get you the latest in stock prices directly from a stock market site. It’s also possible to access the same data from another location by simply copying the embed code and pasting in the site of your choice.

There are mainly two types of widgets namely web widgets and desktop widgets. It’s the web widgets that are extensively used in SEO processes not to leave out back link campaigns. Widgets are developed using software programs such as JavaScript, HTML, Flash etc and function as downloadable applications. They are generated by widget engines like Widget Box, Snack Tools etc. Desk top widgets on the other hand can be embedded in local computers only. For example: – Apple Computer Widget.

Today there are numerous widget companies offering various management tools for controlling these embedded applications. Their use has become so widespread that you can even find them inside mobiles which are known as mobile web widgets.

What’s a Widget?

A widget is a small utility working in the background, looking for specific information for you on the Internet and aggregating it in a specific location. For example, the weather forecast for the next week in your city, currency exchange, digital clock, your favorite stocks ticker, TV broadcasting and so on. Almost everything that you need to have current. In technical language, widgets are small JavaScripts applications running a widget engine on a user computer under MS Windows or Mac operating systems. Originally called Konfabulator, they were recently acquired by Yahoo! and now widgets are commonly known as Yahoo! Widgets.

How Do You Use It?

First of all, you need to download a widget engine from Yahoo and install it on your computer. This will allow you to access more than 3,000 different widgets created for this engine. There are several designed specifically for photographers, and particularly for those who are actively selling photos to stock and microstock agencies.

There are several widgets for iStockPhoto such us iStockWatcher, iStockDash and iStockphoto-PC Widget. All of them are free. iStockWatcher works under the Yahoo! Widget engine only and has an iStockwatch Lite version with some limitations. This watcher gathers information such as last selling, statistics, personal message notifications, new forum and blog topics, news and so on.

iStockDash is Dashboard Widget for the Mac operating system only. There are no big differences in functionalities from the one mentioned above.

In contrast, iStockphoto-PC Widget is an MS Windows version that contains everything you need to work autonomously. In other words, you do not need to install the Yahoo! Widget engine first, but rather everything is inside this widget package, so you just download and install it, and it is ready to work.

There is another one that covers all of the above and more. I’m talking about MicroStock Watcher. This widget keeps you up to date on iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Shutterstock, Stockxpert, and LuckyOliver. And the list of microstocks is growing. But, this widget is shareware with a trial period.

For those who are only interesting in photos themselves, there are several widgets working with photo sharing Web-sites like Flickr. They’ll show you recent photos in selected categories, travelers’ stories and so on. To find out more try to make a search both in the Internet and Yahoo widgets page.

How to Develop a Public Relations Campaign for A Small Business

A St. Louis Public Relations professional, I am often asked if public relations can work for a small business.

The answer is “yes”.

Even on a lesser scale, the basics of creating a PR campaign for a small business are virtually the same as creating one for a large corporation.

It involves analyzing your business goals and determining what type of objective you would like to achieve.

Is your goal to increase hits on your web site, build greater trust with your customers and prospects, develop community awareness, or to simply let the marketplace know what products and services you are selling?

Once your goal is established then identify which audiences you need to reach. These should be in line with your objective.

Are your trying to reach other small business owners, presidents of larger corporations, a very select business to business audience, selected consumers, or the public at large?

After you identify these target markets the next step is to develop a strategy and the tactics necessary to reach them.

This is accomplished by creating a mini-campaign for each audience within the overall PR plan.

For example, let’s say your overall PR goal is to influence 30 new prospective customers to engage with you and your sales staff with the hope of turning them into clients.

One of your target audiences could be widget makers. Your objective with widget makers is to create 10 of those 30 prospective engagements.

Your tactics would then include developing a myriad of activities to build relationships with 10 widget makers.

Those activities could include hosting seminars for widget makers, manning a booth at widget trade shows, speaking at widget conferences, securing articles about your firm in widget publications, emailing newsletters to widget makers, developing a blog about widgets, connecting with widget makers through LinkedIn, etc.

Once the campaign is launched it needs to be analyzed and adjusted.

Focus on those tactics that work the best and provide the greatest return on investment. This is especially important for small companies who are usually on a limited budget.

Remember to keep it measurable. This is where a number of small business PR campaigns run out of steam.

If you plan to hit the 10 widget maker mark in six months, you will need to create 5 engagements within the first 90 days. Should you hit or exceed the 5 mark after 90 days you will feel confident that your campaign is on track.

Connect only with one or two widget makers in the first three months and you might have to adjust your strategy.

Whether your PR budget is $5,000 or $5 million the basic strategies of a public relations campaign remain the same.

It works for small companies as well as large ones. The first step is to create a goal and get started.